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, president john f. kennedy submitted landmark civil rights legislation to congress that proposed ending discrimination on the basis of race. the bill wasn't passed until the following year, but its introduction was one of many key civil rights moments of 1963. kim lawton spoke with pulitzer prize-winning author taylor branch about some of the major events of 50 years ago. and the central role played by black churches. >> reporter: in birmingham, alabama, christian leaders from around the country gathered for a prayer walk to mark the 50th anniversary of some key moments in the struggle for civil rights. there are a lot of anniversaries to commemorate this year. 1963 was a turning point for reverend martin luther king jr. and the civil rights movement. >> 1963 is, without a doubt, the breakthrough pivotal year. i call it the tipping point. >> taylor branch is a you itser prize winning author of several books about the civil rights struggle including his most recent one the king years which emphasizes much of his earlier work. branch says black churches were central in almost all the majo
year we got to voting rights act and then the civil riots act. we have a lot of an verries over the next five years. it's interesting to me that 50 years after these events, all of these civil rights cases are coming before the court if that makes any sense to you. what should i and the audience make of that that all these cases now are being heard 50 years later? >> these cases are case that is more orless represent the question of whether in celebrating 50 years since all these laws were passed have we really gone far enough or have we really accomplished as much as we think we should have? to a certain extent all these cases are about how much is enough. none of them are ability we've arrived. so the supreme court itself acknowledges there is still societal discrimination. in many cases there is still a recognition we haven't fully integrated the schools. there is some degree of unfairness nth work force, etc. but now the question is are these methods, these remedies for discrimination creating more problems than they are actually worth? have we done enough? >> one of the sta
and civil rights issue and there's one thing that comes up in absolutely every conversation that i have had with people in the district, and that was bullying. and it really, it was, it's not surprising to the people in this room, i know. it was not surprising to me but it was troubling to me that in every community that i was meeting with, this was an issue prrp violence, harassment, physical, cyber, social, children on children, this kind of behavior is so disturbing and so troubling and so heartbreaking to so many people. even in this place, even in san francisco, california and northern california, which has got to be if not the most tolerant place in the country certainly amuck the most tolerance and diverse places in the community, this is what i was hearing out in the community and it's something we wanted to get involved in. and i'm so grateful that as a result of that all of you have agreed to come together to have a conversation about this issue with us included. i can't tell you how much we appreciate it. so thank you very much for being here. as i said, we're grailsd with th
court on voting rights. generally considered one of the most important affected civil rights laws in history. the case challenges two specific provisions of this law. section five which requires preclearance for changing the election procedures or "b" outlines a formula for which jurisdictions should be covered. and this is really focused on shelby county, alabama. and they argue there that this law is outdated. that they shouldn't have to follow these things. what are you looking for? >> you know, i think what we're looking for is whether the supreme court will go narrow or broad in this case. if it goes narrowly it can strike down that states have to opt in or opt out of this mechanism. if the supreme court goes broad and strikes down the mechanism all together, section five, that would be a much broader holding. >> let me read to you a couple of the arguments that were made. sonja sotomayor said why would we do this when it's the epitome of how we started? it's an old disease. it's gotten better. a lot better. but it's still there. let's go to nbc's pete williams at the court.
students, the role of our federal government. tom perez, assistant secretary for civil rights, ruslyn lee. she was also nominated by president obama to serve in her role as assistant secretary of education for civil rights and she was confirmed by the senate in may of 2009. as assistant secretary, ruslyn is assistant secretary arnie's duncan's primary advisor. before she joined the department of education she was vice president of the education trust in washington, dc and was the founding executive of education trust west in oakland. in these positions she advocated for public school students in california, focusing on achievement and opportunity gaps, improving can urriculum and instructional quality and ensuring quality education for everybody. she served as an advisor on education issues on a number of private ipbs institutions, she is a teacher, a lawyer, and a very influential voice on all policy matters. she was also passionate about ending this issue of bullying and bringing everyone together to stop this disturbing trend so please welcome assistant secretary for civil right
had long been a stooge of the concerns of african-americans. astute civil rights -- to the concerns of african- americans. a great civil rights person said he was astute to this before others were. his political career in missouri was largely dependent on being responsive to african-american voters. about that. more >> >> when the president truman was a senator, he was elected pendergastthe machine. he ran against former missouri governor loyde stark. the onlyst election -- election that mattered at that time, the democratic primary, the closest since 1822 in the state of missouri. president truman carried it by less than 5000 votes. lloyd stark was a widely known ardent segregationist. african-americans voted in kansas city and in st. louis. it is hard to think of any of them, any number that -- any of them casting their ballot for lloyd stark. his secondruman owed term as senator, without which he would not have been vice president, to black voters. tavis: it does not seem likely he came to the conclusion on his own or it was an altruistic gesture, the right thing to do. that is w
right right -- civil rights legislation ever in its passage. and the country that brought today's case to strike down the law, in the 60s protesters endured t fire hosts, bombings and beatings to protect voting rights. after the president signed the law into law, he spoke about the impact he hoped it would have. >> today is a triumph for freedom as huge as any victory that has ever been won on any battlefield. they came in darkness and they came in change and today, we strike away the last major shackle of those fierce and ancient bonds. >> michael: martin luther king reportedly cried as he heard that. the act sought to remove the last shackle by mandating that certain regions like alabama had to preclear any voting laws with the federal government. it determined which counties and states were included in stade's case shelby county said it should no longer be required to clear its laws with the federal government because the act was outdated. >> they are still using the same criteria to determine whether these 16 states that are covered -- they are still using t
to that. and it is about state leadership, not just looking at the civil rights laws for protection, but -- and it certainly is our job to vigorously enforce them -- but it is your job as superintendent to (inaudible) even where the federal civil rights laws don't protect you. so it's a case of taking what you are doing, what folks are doing across the country and putting those on places like stopbullying dwofl .org so we can scale those up around the country. >> recognizable face. >> (inaudible) and i'm also head of the san francisco commission on women and the lieutenant governor asked about data. actually we do have data on bullying in san francisco high schools, particularly bullying among lgbt girls. so for the first time this year we've incorporated data that kevin coggin and ilsa (inaudible) provided and their suicide rates are off the charts, lesbian girls in our district. it's actually from the cdy youth risk survey. i want to offer that as a resource to folks in this room and encourage you in this pursuit of data. >> thank you. >> my question centers around the point o
knocked down one of the pillars of the civil rights movement: it invalidated a key part of the voting rights act, the law enactd in 1965 to stop racial discrimination at the polls. >> at issue was a provision in the act that singled out states with a history of discrimination and voting mostly in the south and required them to get preclearance, approval from the federal government before changing voting procedures. >> stephen: ladies and gentlemen, as a son of the south from one of the states covered by the preclearance provision of the voting rights act i want to thank the supreme court for finally setting my people free. it was a 5-4 decision with chief justice roberts joined by justices scalia, thomas, alito and deen. now, everybody is better with butter. now, folks, in his decision gutting the voting rights act, chief justice roberts sagely noted something many of us had apparently missed about discrimination saying, quote, nearly fist years later things have changed dramatically. true. for instance, there used to be a voting rights act. but we don't need it now because apparently
for syllable rights. -- civil rights. after his body was laid to rest in 1895, the people of rochester erected the first monument honoring him in 1899. the people of washington dc have also undertook this great man who called their city home at the latter years of his life. i want to thank the people of washington for generously donating this culture which will be seen by millions of visitors every year. it is not an accident that his statue stands here next to the marker dedicated to the enslaved laborers who built the capital that completed the capital dome during the civil war. these workers were among the millions of slaves who frederick douglass, a former slave himself, dedicated his life to free. the statue of frederick douglass joins elite three other sculptures of african-americans in the u.s. capital. martin luther king jr., rosa parks, sojourner truth. for too long, the cap the collection of statues failed to include courageous africans americans who led some the most important movement and the nations and world history. the installation of this statue in a place named emancipation h
has been tried in court. is a civil rights statute. -- it is a civil rights statute. they can be a perfectly legitimate plaintiffs to bring a lawsuit, and there are a number of people who belong to disability organizations that actually, that is what their livelihood is, bringing these lawsuits. the gentleman over here, who was also a lawyer knows of at least one case involving two lawsuits. they started all neighborhoods. the target places like san francisco because this is an old city with old buildings, virtually none of which comply. we only have new construction that would be billed to 1988 compliance standards, usually. whatever kind of business you have, the building part does not enforce ada compliance. you have your architect look at the ada if you are going to make a major revision anyway. is very expensive to do that. the demand letter is a requirment for the state -- is a requirement for the state laws to be brought. for civil rights cases, you are expected to know the law and be in compliance. they do not make a demand under federal law saying they should ask you
. the measure would ban abortions without exception for rape and incest. >>> civil rights activists are calling it a devastating ruling. in a 5-4 decision on tuesday, the superior court shut down the most important piece of civil rights legislation in history. the reaction, it is spreading across the country, ruling resets voting rights fight. the new york times declares it hits at the heart of the voting rights act and states are moving forward with controversial changes to voting laws and civil rights activists are vowing to fight for ballot protections. nbc's pete williams has more. >> reporter: the ruling deals a crippling and potentially fatal blow to the response to widespread efforts in the south to prevent blacks from voting. >> we'll march in today to dramatize to the nation. >> reporter: john louis, now a georgia congressman, watched as the bill was signed. >> without the voting rights act in 1965, there would be no barack obama as president of the united states of america. we've come too far to go back. >> this presents a serious setback for voting rights and has the potential to neg
for civil rights and education here in san francisco and our mission is to advance civil and human rights through education. and this is quite an honor to be here this evening. and you know just briefly, my father was born in oakland, california. and fred coramatzo thought of himself as an american citizen and that what motivated him to take a stand against the military orders that were issued during world war ii that forced removed 120,000 of japanese ancestry from the west coast. he worked on redress after his conviction was over turned in 1983 after it was found in the government's own files that the incarceration was of not military necessity and that there was government misconduct. and he worked on the redress and ref rations movement that led to the civil rights act of 1988 and then my father's mission became education. he crisscrossed this nation so that the lessons of history would not be forgotten. and in 2010, with the signing of the legislative bill, establishing fred of the civil liberties and the constitution on january 30th, my father's birthday, we through the institute de
the very heart of the most important civil rights law in u.s. history. tonight we'll look at the fallout and the future. >>> what he saw. a dramatic day of testimony in the george zimmerman trial. the first responder on the scene describing efforts to save trayvon martin. >>> nbc news exclusive, richard engel returns to syria tonight. tonight he reveals what he found out about america's growing involvement in that war. >>> and the unbreakable bond. a marine and his dog, two american heroes and partners tonight reunited. "nightly news" begins now. >>> good evening. as one reporter put it today, the u.s. supreme court has driven a stake through the heart of the most important civil rights law ever enacted, the voting rights act. it was created because of a history of discrimination in certain states. today the court said our country has changed since then. the court was divided over it, and while it doesn't end voting rights enforcement in this country, it fired up opponents from the president to the attorney general to civil rights groups. while it does allow congress to bring it back if
that in california, while that victory at the presidential level was being celebrated as a civil rights milestone, california also that same night in that same election on that same ballot voted to take away existing marriage rights from california same-sex couples. that whiplash moment, the that california, alone, experienced the night president obama was first elected, that moment was referenced yesterday. it was brought up unprompted by one of the plaintiffs in the california same-sex marriage case that was decided yesterday at the supreme court. >> in 2008 when we elected the first african-american president, it was a glorious day, but later that night it was a horrible night when the returns for prop 8 came in saying that we were going to be treated as second-class citizens, and we just could not fathom being treated like that anymore. >> so it was that moment in 2008 when we simultaneously had this great civil rights advance of electing an african-american president, and also the civil rights reverse in terms of gay couples in california. that moment in 2008. now, this week, we are essentia
civil rights activists are calling a devastating ruling. in a 5-4 decision tuesday, the court struck down a key part of the voting rights act widely considered the most important piece of civil rights legislation in history. "usa today" saying ruling resets voting rights fight. "the new york times" claims it hits at the heart of the voting rights act. some states are already moving forward with controversial changes to voting loss and civil rights activists are vowing to fight for ballot protections. pete williams has more. understooden. >> the ruling deals a crippling and potentially fatal blow to the law signed by president johns in 1965, a response to widespread efforts in the south to prevent blacks from voting. >> we're marching today. >> civil rights veteran john lewis watched as the law was signed. >> without the voting rights acof 1965, there would be no barack obama as president of the united states of america. we've come too far, made too much progress to go back. >> this decision represents a serious setback for voting rights and has the potential to negatively affect mil
harris wants it all sped up. >> we cannot delay or deny individuals their civil rights. and for that reason again i urge the 9th circuit court of appeals to lift the stay as quickly as possible. >> normally the waiting peeryard is -- period is 25 days. that would be july 21. she doesn't want to wait that long but she may have no choice. >> today the governor told all california counties be ready to issue marriage licenses to same- sex couple as soon as the court lifts the stay. >>> president obama is with his family but from air force one he called to congratulate the couples who fought prop 8 saying we are proud of you guys. one couple invited the president to their second wedding. >>> the other decision, more of a national impact, doma, defense of marriage act. they are allowing same-sex couple spouses to receive benefits. 5 justices for the repeal. 4 against. kpix's linda yee on how they came to their decision and the impact has t has on -- it has on duchess of on -- on gay couples. >> reporter: a stigma upon all who enter same-sex marriages made lawful by the author
was not so much about lgbt rights, though that was part of it. for me harvey milk was about civil rights and the rights of all people and the recognition that we as minimum bier of the lgbt community are connected to other communities, and that we cannot be for lgbt rights if we're also not for the rights of other groups. that we cannot be -- (applause) >> -- only about the lgbt community. that if you believe in gay rights and lgbt rights, that you necessarily have to be for the rights of immigrants. that you necessarily have to be for the rights of women. that you necessarily have to be for the right for anyone who is disinfranchised in society. that to me is the essence of that legacy. * and why it's a legacy that transcends, transcends the lgbt community in terms whatv harvey milk was about. so, as an openly gay latino man, i am grateful for that legacy. and i am grateful that harvey milk, that george moscone, have become a beacon of light and hope not only for the lgbt community, but for so many communities throughout this country. and not just this country, but the world. and, so, t
and so cancerous that we had to do civil rights act, voting rights act. >> stephen: fine. then we'll just have a new voting rights act. it wasn't that hard to pass the first time, was it? >> very, very difficult to pass. stephen: congress can get stuff done, sir. >> here's a great, a mini-history lesson about the civil rights movement. >> stephen: i'll try to stay awake. >> 1954 to 1965, the brown public school desegregation decision civil rights act of '64 voting rights act of '65, crown jewel is the voting rights act of '65. martin luther king, jr., selma, congressman john lewis got his skull fractured trying to demonstrate. >> stephen: hey, baby i was at the march on washington. you don't have to tell me. i was at the "i have a dream speech." don't play that back people went on marches card. i was at the marches. were you? >> i was not. stephen: you were not at the marches. >> i was not born in 1965. stephen: i could be madder than you. oh, i wasn't born that. that's a convenient excuse. thank you so much for joining us me. dark days, bright nights. we'll be right
act of 1965 is one of the towering achievements of the civil rights era. today's supreme court ruling left that towering achievement still standing but merely as a hollow shell. by 5-4 vote, the courts struck down the act's section four which set a formula for determining whether nine state the and municipalities mostly in the south had discriminated against minority voters. states that met the formula had to submit to federal oversight in order to pass any new election laws. the court broke along ideological lines justices roberts scarks leah, alito and the most powerful man on earth kennedy voting against the provision. while justices ginsburg, breyer, sotomayor and kagan voted to keep the act intact. writing for the majority, chief justice roberts claimed the formula that determined whether states had passed laws that reduced minority voting were out-of-date and no longer justified treating some states differently than others. in the words of the decision and i quote... >>> in other words my friends laws to stop bigotry are bigoted against bigots. president obama immediately releas
struck down a corner stone of civil rights. our supreme court correspondent jan crawford will tell us more. >>> plus, we are tracking fugitive edward snowden. those stories right after kpix news. ,,,,,,,, for our families... our neighbors... and our communities... america's beverage companies have created... a wide range of new choices. developing smaller portion sizes and more.. low and no-calorie beverages... adding clear calorie labels so you know... exactly what you're choosing... and in schools, replacing full-calorie soft drinks... with lower-calorie options. with more choices and fewer calories... he said p-g-and-e shouldn'te fined, for the san bruno disaster. then - attorneys - a pistol- packing p-u-c chi, told them back him up - or . how confidential e- mails reveal threats.. by t ssion's top official. >>> new at 6:00, he said pge shouldn't be fine for the disaster. then, the attorneys say a pistol packing chief told them back him up or else. how confidential emails reveal threats by the commission's top official. >>> an up close look at the biggest dam removal project in sta
it's very exciting to see everybody talking about civil rights litigate or heroes which i think they are. >> what is next in the film and what do you see for film and how do people learn more about it. >> the film will be on hbo in july in the summer series which is great because they do a lot of marketing. we are selecting the open night. which is a thousand seat audience. it is the premier selection. it's at the film festival as it went to sundance and they voted it and it's a film we would like to bring home. we are doing as many film festivals as we can. we won the audience award and jury award in miami and doing as many speaking and community talk back events. the film i hope will become a gathering point for people to use and say this is what's happening in our jurisdiction. this shows the experience of just a few lawyers. there are many people struggling to do a great job across the country. >> what's your website? >> we'll be taking questions. now let's move to john rapping who is one of the individuals featured in the film. john, i remember when you first talked about s
one of the pillars of the civil rights movement. >> strikes down a key part of the voting rights act. >> it was a 5-4 decision with chief justice roberts joined by justices scalia, thomas -- >> i might not be here as president except for those who helped pass the voting rights act. >> the supreme court has declared the federal defense of marriage act unconstitutional. >> it cannot take up the challenge to california's proposition 8. >> one judge in particular making the difference. >> anthony kennedy, does he have some clerk that's happen to be gays? >> i thought our arguments were sound and every unelse's were insane. >> nobody in this country has ever been denied the right to get married. >> knock, knock. who's there? >> thanks for joining us this afternoon. it has been another busy week from a stand-off on women's rights to the trial of george zimmerman, the president's trip to africa and landmark supreme court decisions. it was a week that both answered and raised new questions about what it means to be equal in this country. we start with the big news at the supreme court this w
vra unless congress acts. >>> the court is leaving some of the most important civil rights legislation to congress, people who haven't passed a budget in four years and voted 37 times to repeal obamacare. >>> from the speak court to the courtroom in sanford, florida. day two in the george zimmerman murder trial. we'll be looking live. >>> all that, plus all the stars want to be in the cycle. >>> the supreme court kicks a key portion of the biggest civil rights law in our country across washington to capitol hill. the majority says the formula used to determine racial discrimination at the polls is outdated. they're still using election data from 1972, and the justices want congress to come up with a new formula. the opinion written by chief justice roberts strikes down section four. that's the portion that set the formula to determine if a state or county required preapproval before making any voting changes. this preclearance portion of the act is called section five. that section survives. but it has no impact unless congress figures out a new formula and agrees on it. an
director of the lawyers committee for civil rights civil rights under law. i'm here today to speak to this decision. i want to say two thing straight up about the decision. one, it is deeply disturbing. it undermines and puts our democracy at risk. nothing is more important than ensuring that every single voter is free from racial discrimination and ethnic discrimination in the exercise of their vote. today's decision severely undermine the legal protections that have been vital for more than almost five decades of voters of all nationalities. say the second problem is that this decision is a betrayal of the american people. there is nothing more critical than making sure that the highest court in our land gets it right when it comes to what the appropriate coverage is for protecting american people. four of the voting rights act, by saying that the formula is outdated. the court has made a misstep of tremendous proportions by making that decision when congress had 15,000 pages of records that it from hearings. they looked at the states that were covered. all lawsuits involving vot
weather on our website kpix.com. istovided court strikes down a cornerstone of civil rights. onn crawford is there. fordow know where the man with america's secrets is holed-up. bob orr is tracking fugitive edward snowden. opponents try to stop a new rdortion law in texas while supporters say it will improve health care for women. ronuel looks at the controversy. and blindness runs in the jackson family. so does an incomparable vision. we have the story of triumph over tragedy. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. today the supreme court essentially knocked down one of cke pillars of the civil rights movement. it invalidated a key part of the voting rights act, the law enacted in 1965 to stop racial discrimination at the polls. the voting rights act requires nine states to get federal approval of changes to their onection laws. heher parts of the country covered by the act include most of new york city and several counties in california. but that requirement for fed
rights act of 1965. widely considered to be one of the most effective pieces of civil rights legislation passed in the last 50 years. the act prohibits states from imposing any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting or enacting any standard practice or procedure that denies any u.s. citizen the right to vote on the basis of race. after the enactment, states could no longer deny african- americans the right to vote. segregation had been the law of the land. civil rights workers were murdered. african-american churches and the homes of african-american leaders were routinely bombed. under section 5 of the act, states and localities with a history of discrimination must seek preclearance of changes in voting rules that could have an impact on minorities. on tuesday of this past week in a 5-4 decision in shelby county versus holder, the supreme court struck down 4 of the act that provided the formula that governed which jurisdictions were required to have voting changes precleared. the court's majority held that section 4 was unconstitutional because it is based on outdated statistic
citizens. this is civil rights significance. i know we're supposed to protect states rights but this is not a states right issue. there needs to be a federal law that protects same-sex marriage. if obama is so supportive of same sex marriage, he should lead the way when it comes to that. he should propose it, and i know it's up to congress, but he should push for it. i would like to see something change in the federal level as opposed to letting states decide if they can discriminate against gay people. >> i think when you see those images it's exactly what you're saying. you see the debate around craziness and fear around pat robertson and rick santorum saying things that have no value in an traditional debate. they always bring in religion which has nothing to do with our constitution, and it has nothing to do with interpersonal relationships. you see nothing bad happening there. these people want to have a private life together and have the same benefits that everybody else does. >> as you see in this country more and more people you know and who have gay people in their
, this probably means the end of the provision of the civil rights voting act. >> so is this mainly equal treatment for states or voters? >> that's a really good way of looking at it. i think the conservatives here took this view. they said in 1965 when the statute was enacted and this list was created. it was really important and absolutely and necessary, but the countries changed since then. and a lot of jurisdictions in their view that was covered by the preclearance rule haven't proved a lot. so there isn't this presumption of discrimination anymore, therefore applying this preclearance rule, it in fact infringes the rights of states to decide how they'll have voting. >> so tom, as i understand it, the civil rights act was reauthorized in '06. however, in '09 congress was instructed to come up with a better formula, but they haven't done their homework on that. so why should we expect them now, in 2013, to be mature enough to do that? >> i don't know that it's a question of maturity or just gridlock, which happens a lot obviously in this congress. what happened a few years ago, just a
exercise of franchise. >> the white house and civil rights groups denounce the supreme court after it denies the 1965 civil rights voting act. we will speak to jesse jackson, thomas saenz, and ari berman. and it was high drama at the texas state house last night where a bill that would close most abortion clinics in the state was defeated after activists packed the capital to support a texas state senator for more than 10-hour filibuster. >> sb 5 is dead. [applause] then president obama is up a new climate action plan. doesn't go far enough? we will have a debate. all that and more coming up. ? democracy now! ruling, the justices ruled congress used obsolete information in continuing to require nine states with a history of racial discrimination to obtain federal approval for changes to voting rules. the voting rights act was challenged by shelby county, alabama which argued the preclearance requirement has outlived its usefulness just two hours after the ruling texas began advancing a voter id law and redistricting maps that were blocked last year for restricting african-american
of the civil rights movement in terms of interracial marriage. there was that dichotomy drawn in terms of proposition 8. bob, can you talk about that a little bit. this was a very different environment. >> it dramatized election day 2008. you had barack obama and this historic victory at the same time that you had proposition 8, but what happened and what i think of as the other side tries to exploit this all the time. you get a split in the progressive community. and i just remember being at gatherings of african-americans several years ago, sometimes in black churches, where there was overwhelming opposition to the idea of gay marriage. and i just remember talking to people saying, hey, do you remember the times when, you know, blacks couldn't marry certain people and that sort of thing. >> yeah. >> so you have to be careful to mend these rifs and what i think is an all important progressive coalition. >> i want to go back quickly to jeff and adam. jerry brown has issued an order directing the california department of public health to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. c
where abe is narl director and i chair the national civility rights committee has a mission to promote justice and fair treatment for all. as part of this mission, antidefamation league has worked for years that the epidemic of hate online is harming individuals and society. while certain aspects of internet hate have received national and international attention, like cyberbull using, unfortunately the problem in general is not high in the consciousness of the internet community, of parents, educators, and of leaders, and we believe that the indifference to a growing and harmful problem needs to change. we care about these issues not just because we're civil rights activists and have seen the effects of attacks, physical and verbal, on minorities. but this is also personal. abe is a holocaust survivor and is from the place and time were prop gap da was the accomplice to the deaths of millions. as abe explains it, the holocaust didn't begin with the of ovens, it began with words. last month at a forum abe and i explained the virus of hate is spreading every day in ways that hoyt explor
and sisters on these important civil rights issues. you just can't have an apartheid. you can't have 37 states that doesn't recognize this or you can't have voting rights being decimated. that's also the kind of lbgt every day issue that has somewhat been eclipsed by all the attacks on marriage and doma, because that dynamic, you know frankly is a little sexier and caught people in a wave of either support or conflict, and so we're hoping that, you know, this will act as a bully pulpit, really, for other civil rights, human rights issues that affect all of us, obviously including lbgt. >> it's so interesting speaking to someone who i have to say personally, my first exposure to you and really the activism over gay rights was in the documentary, the times of harvey milk. that was my absolute first exposure to the issue. i saw the film a number of times. what's interesting and i'm learning this today when we speak to activists on this show, it's how they move on to the next thing, how to us, oh, my god, it was a victory doma is defeated, everyone to a person says yes the work's just beginning. t
this is the holy grail the voting rights act. it is the very first civil rights act enacted by congress. it was championed by lyndon baines johnson president johnson, after the murder of john f. kennedy who was -- hadn't done a lot but then finally, was on the ball and moving -- he and bobby kennedy toward some voter rights legislation when he was assassinated. southerner lbj picked up the torch, probably got the bill passed where john f. kennedy could not have gotten it passed. signed it into law. historic moment. what it said basically was look, you cannot block people or make it more difficult for people of color to vote in the south and particularly those states and those counties mostly southern states where they have had the worst record of discrimination. if they do anything about voting regulations or requirements on their own voting. they have to first get approval. specifically named which district they've got of shelby county the big one. they have to get approval first from the department of justice. it wasn't an onerous burden. it was a necessary burden but it was not onero
between civil rights and sacred rights. >> same-sex marriage will be put to vote here in maryland. sex marriage in the state of maryland. in african-le american children -- churches all hopped [no audio] between gays and african- americans. >> all the sudden, it was black person is gay. >> our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law. >> he asked, when are you getting married? >> well, we are working on it. >> regardless of what laws they may write, god designed the family. >> who has been the hardest hit in the issue of family? the african-american community. >> we were blasphemous and not to compare the gay movement with the right for civil rights. is gay the new black? >> i believe this election ought to be a referendum on the church, a referendum on black preachers. >> if we do not reach out to these people, who will? opposition. god does not make lesbians. finish.e >> sensuality in african- american community is taboo. we do not discuss it in any form. >> i felt like could not be myself because i would shame you. i ain't
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